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Thursday, June 17,2010

Letters | Cry me a river

Cry me a river

(Re: “Hidden in plain sight,” cover story, June 10.) Plight? There’s a process, and laws to move to any country.

Come here legally — no problem. Break the law, suffer the consequences. How many Indians, Eastern Block Euros, Africans, Australians (must I go on?) come here legally from the other side of the ocean with visas, permits, legally — work, pay taxes, contribute to the health care system, so on and so forth? A lot. Legally.

I am so tired of hearing about the “plight” of illegals. Cry me a river. You broke into my house. You can’t live here. Get out. I’m weary of having my tax dollars support “undocumented” issues. I travel internationally frequently. Always have to have documentation on me. If anyone actually reads SB 1070 — reads it — there’s no racial profiling. It’s simply enforcing the law. But you liberal, sympathetic douche bags who are protecting the illegals, concerned with the “plight” of people who are breaking the law, have probably not read the bill. For some reason, you feel illegals don’t need to carry proper identification in this country, or any other for that matter.

Scenario: I was pulled over for a speeding ticket. While waiting to discuss my options with the assistant D.A., a non-English-speaking traffic violator was placed in front of the magistrate with a taxpayer appointed “interpreter.”

Magistrate: “Why did you not have a license when you were pulled over?” Non-English Speaker: “I don’t have a social security number.”

Magistrate: “Fifty dollar fine. Please make alternative arrangements for transportation. Next case.”

Wow. I got nailed $150 on my legal license, dropped two points, and, to rub salt in the wound, I saw the violator get in her car and drive away. How many times a week does this happen in how many counties in how many states? Oh, by the way, I pay the magistrate’s salary and the interpreter’s, too, with my taxes.

I don’t care where the illegals come from — just get here legally and follow the direction of the law or suffer your “plight.” Waaaannnnhhhh! Their “rights”? What rights would that be? What rights would you have if you

went to another country illegally? You would have the right to sit your ass in jail. These people get jobs, free health care (that I pay for), free education(that I pay for), driver’s licenses, and then have the audacity to bitch? Are you kidding?

Ask Chavez what happens to an American if he/she goes to Venezuela and is undocumented.

Derek Blood/via Internet

Editor’s note: As a point of fact, many undocumented immigrants pay taxes, too.

Dysfunctional city policy

Bravo for publishing Jon Miller’s editorial, “How to be smarter about SmartRegs” (Perspectives, June, 10). This program is yet another example of Boulder’s dysfunctional policy-making, at both city and county levels, which invariably puts the financial burden of social objectives on a small minority of residents, without sufficient (or any) analysis of whether the programs actually work. We steal from homeowners, waste tax dollars and rarely have anything except smugness to show for it.

Our whole ClimateSmart program is a depressing example. Last I checked we are paying seven full-time employees to reduce Boulder County’s energy consumption. Their effectiveness? Approximately zero, according to a mocking Wall Street Journal article a few months ago. Last winter, I called the department to help me with my drafty old house. The only assistance I got was the telephone number of Xcel Energy. We pay them for what, exactly? Is their job security based on any sort of measurable goals? (The group is interviewing for additional hires, by the way.)

Mr. Miller writes, “The energy savings measures of SmartRegs are untested. It involves conjecture.” That pretty much sums up the Boulder Way. We throw taxpayer money at whimsical schemes that are neither founded in sober research nor subject to objective metrics. We put these programs in place and just keep pouring (other people’s) money into them. I’m not sure whether it’s arrogance or stupidity, but Boulder planners seem to think they can solve complex problems with simplistic solutions, and then they ignore the damage wrought by unintended consequences:

Despite the fact that the entire planet uses a standard set of traffic signs and signals, we invent our own type of crosswalk and then seem surprised by all the accidents.

In order to protect affordable housing, we drastically limit new building, which wiped out an entire industry (construction and related services) that employed the kind of people who need affordable housing.

We pour massive subsidies into solar panels, but the steep environmental cost of the panels’ manufacture is not factored into HERS ratings. (Same thing goes for the battery in that Prius, by the way.)

We pass draconian energy-efficiency requirements that add huge costs to remodels so homeowners just leave their old, leaky houses the way they are.

We let Councilman Macon Cowles talk us into building restrictions that, perversely, hurt owners of smaller homes, while benefiting owners of existing, larger homes... including, curiously enough, Mr. Cowles himself. (Mr. Cowles likes to blame Wall Street for hurting Boulder homeowners. Oh, the irony.)

Do Boulderites even realize that electric cars around here are powered by burning coal, not by magic unicorns?

Boulderites who truly ascribe to the bleeding-edge of environmentalism should be willing to pay for it out of their own pockets. Instead of voting onerous mandates onto a few people, we should be encouraging compliance through tax incentives, with all of us voting ourselves higher taxes (or reduced spending) to make up for the lost revenues. We are more likely to both participate and demand accountability when our own money is being spent.

The ultimate unintended consequence is yet to come. Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor believes in both limiting growth and keeping housing affordable. This contradiction is only possible, particularly in a desirable area like Boulder, by intentionally reducing property values, which seems to be his strategy. Anybody who has attended a recent public hearing on these issues knows how furious homeowners are about what a handful of activists have done to them. Let’s hope that the coming backlash (Tovarish Toor is term limited in 2012) doesn’t swing Boulder so far the other way that we end up looking like just another Denver suburb.

David Rea/Boulder

Kudos to South Africa

A hearty and healthy congratulations to resilient, vibrant and musical South Africa — Soweto, no less — in its hosting of the beautiful games World Cup this summer. And it’s amazing that they will have an audience of at least 10 to 15 times that of the Super Bowl. There’s nothing else like this platform and spectacle on Earth! I just love being alive for it. It occurs to me rather facetiously that if we accept the consensus of scientists worldwide that humankind originated in Africa, then doesn’t it follow that we’re all African-Americans, Afro-Canadians, Afro-Europeans, Afro-Australians, Afro-Brasilians, etc.? It seems an appropriate and timely enough question though, eh? In any case, welcome back, World Cup, you glorious thing, you.

Grant D. Cyrus/Boulder

Obama went AWOL

As a Navy veteran, I am appalled President Obama, our Commander-In- Chief, did not lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2010. Instead, he went on vacation and was rained out at a presentation at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois.

The Commander-In-Chief has an obligation to fulfill his responsibilities to our deceased soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who gave their lives to keep this country free. He has a duty to respect our veterans and support our military forces that are currently fighting two wars.

If a military member did not show up for duty, he or she would be punished, including the possible loss of pay, a reprimand, a demotion, or in a theater of war operations, the potential exists for incarceration. Our Commander-In- Chief deserves to be punished, and the punishment is to make him a one-term president.

President Obama is not the first president to miss laying the wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. Ronald Reagan was caught up in a prolonged economic summit in 1983. George H. W. Bush was campaigning in 1992, and George W. Bush was vacationing in Texas on Memorial Day 2007. Prior miscues by presidents cannot justify Obama’s dereliction of duty. He should have changed his vacation plans or taken time out to be at Arlington National Cemetery.

Our Commander-In-Chief went AWOL on Memorial Day 2010.

Donald A. Moskowitz/Londonderry, N.H.

Piling on Thomas

(Re: “Open mouth, insert career,” In Case You Missed It, June 10.) I find it strictly Bush League the way media people are so gleefully joining the dogpile on Helen Thomas. Stating the simple truth that Israel has been built on a heavily recruited immigration from all over the world intended to force Palestinians from their ancestral homes and, in essence, asking the integral question of why are Palestinians paying the price for Christianity’s guilt over centuries of persecution of Jews that reached its horrendous culmination in Hitler’s “final solution” was apparently too hot for our politically correct, milquetoast media minds to handle. Perhaps Ms. Thomas could be given a certain forbearance for her age, but her statements were strictly to the point. This public shunning of a person for speaking one’s mind is only cowardly scapegoatism.

Robert Porath/Boulder

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